Control system and commissioning services for Tâmega, one of the biggest hydroelectric projects in Europe in the last 25 years.

Images provided by Iberdrola

Iberdrola is one step away from commissioning the last power plant in the Tâmega complex, the largest project in the energy sector in Portuguese history that has involved the construction of three dams and three power plants (Gouvães, Daivões and Alto Tâmega) in the northern Portugal. Generator 2 is already generating clean energy, with generator 1 pending in the coming weeks.
The Támega complex is Iberdrola’s flagship project, being one of the largest hydroelectric projects undertaken in Europe in the last 25 years, with a combined capacity of 1,158 MW, which represents a 33% increase in Portugal’s hydroelectric storage capacity. In addition, it represents an increase of 6% in the country’s electrical power.

The complex will be able to produce 1,766 GWh per year, enough to satisfy the energy needs of the neighboring municipalities and the cities of Braga and Guimarães (440,000 homes). In addition, this large renewable infrastructure will have enough storage capacity to serve 11 million people for an entire day. Thanks to this project, the emission of 1.2 million CO2 per year will be avoided.

And that’s where CT comes in. For the start-up of the 3 power plants, being a large-scale project with a start-up duration of 5 years, Iberdrola requires a team with the technical capacity and personnel to undertake a wide variety of activities.

CT has contributed more than 28,000 hours, in addition to multidisciplinary teams working on site and remotely during electrical engineering work at the service of a team led by Iberdrola. On the one hand, we collaborate on a service package consisting of quality control and delimitation with ePlan. On the other hand, for two of its plants – Gouvães (880 MW) and Alto Tâmega (160 MW) -, our engineers contribute to the design of the telecommunications network, control system (SCADA), commissioning process, related protection with the main elements such as turbine and transformers, and integration of all systems to simulate operation in the event of a failure.

We have been collaborating with Iberdrola for more than 5 years in the development of control engineering for hydroelectric plants, however, this project is iconic for its unique characteristics and unprecedented size. The Gouvães exploitation, the most relevant of the three, includes a pumping station and an upper reservoir (Insertar video de cómo funciona una central de bombeo, bibliografía). It has four generators totaling 880 MW and which are housed in an underground cavern with a volume equivalent to 25 Olympic swimming pools. This plant is reversible, that is, it allows water from the Daivões reservoir to be stored in the Gouvães reservoir, taking advantage of the difference in elevation of more than 650 meters between the two. In this way, it will be possible to pump energy when there is excess production, for example, at night, and recover it when necessary, during the day.

The opportunity to participate in this project is the result of our capabilities and extensive experience in similar projects carried out in Spain, such as CH La Muela, CH Aldeávila and CH Cortijo, among others.

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